Long-term response to renal ischaemia in the human kidney after partial nephrectomy: results from a prospective clinical trial

BJU Int. 2016 May;117(5):766-74. doi: 10.1111/bju.13192. Epub 2015 Jul 18.


Objective: To assess the 1-year renal functional changes in patients undergoing partial nephrectomy with intra-operative renal biopsies.

Patients and methods: A total of 40 patients with a single renal mass deemed fit for a partial nephrectomy were recruited prospectively between January 2009 and October 2010. We performed renal biopsies of normal renal parenchyma and collected serum markers before, during and after surgically induced renal clamp ischaemia during the partial nephrectomy. We then followed patients clinically with interval serum creatinine and physical examination.

Results: Peri-operative data from 40 patients showed a transient increase in creatinine levels which did not correlate with ischaemia time. Renal ultrastructural changes were generally mild and included mitochondrial swelling, which resolved at the post-perfusion biopsy. A total of 37 patients had 1-year follow-up data. Creatinine at 1 year increased by 0.121 mg/dL, which represents a 12.99% decrease in renal function from baseline (preoperative creatinine 0.823 mg/dL, estimated glomerular filtration rate = 93.9 mL/min/1.73 m(2) ). The only factors predicting creatinine change on multivariate analysis were patient age, race and ischaemia type, with cold ischaemia being associated with higher creatinine level. Importantly, the duration of ischaemia did not show any significant correlation with renal function change, either as a continuous variable (P = 0.452) or as a categorical variable (P = 0.792).

Conclusions: Our data suggest that limited ischaemia is generally well tolerated in the setting of partial nephrectomy and does not directly correspond to long-term renal functional decline. For surgeons performing partial nephrectomy, the kidney can be safely clamped to ensure optimum oncological outcomes.

Keywords: ischaemia; nephrectomy; surgical clamp.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cold Ischemia* / adverse effects
  • Constriction
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney / ultrastructure
  • Kidney Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy / adverse effects
  • Nephrectomy / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Artery
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / classification
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Warm Ischemia* / adverse effects


  • Creatinine